We dive deep into what Email Engagement and Website Conversion Rates to track in your business, so you know your marketing is paying off!
It’s time to make numbers your best friend in business.
When we refer to numbers here, we mean statistics. (More specifically email engagement metrics and website conversion rates.)
Statistics are a great way for us to have an insight into what’s working and what’s not working in our businesses.
Many business owners we speak with say they’re afraid of numbers. Maybe they’re not scared of numbers per sé but what we’ve found is that they don’t know how to read the numbers.
In today’s post, we want to cover the following:
- One important thing you MUST do if you have an online business
- Metric benchmarks around site statistics and email campaigns (email engagement metric)
- Recommendation on best email engagement metrics to follow when it comes to open rates, click-through-rates and unsubscribe rates
- And finally, what to do when open rates drop or unsubscribe rates increase. I explain in layman’s terms, what all of this means for your business.
First off, let me ask you this.
What stats are you tracking in your business currently?
DO YOU HAVE A WEB ANALYTICS TOOL INSTALLED ON YOUR SITE?
Heard of Google Analytics?
Get it now, while it’s free.
All you need to do, is register for a Google Analytics account here.
Most website platforms make it easy now for GA tracking code to be inserted into websites – you don’t have to be a tech wizard to know how to do this.
If you prefer to use other Web Analytics tools, that’s perfectly fine, too.
All I ask is that you have it installed as early as possible.
For page stats to make sense, you need a lot of data.
To get a lot of data, your chosen analytics tool needs to gather data over a period of time.
That’s why you need to install it as early as possible.
If you get high traffic to your site already, then one month of data is sufficient to start making some informed decisions. For most business owners, I’d recommend 3-6 months of data.
Website Conversion: What should you track with Google Analytics?
- Track number of visitors to your site every month
- Look at your bounce rates
- Types of devices used to reach your site i.e mobile, desktop or tablet
- Most popular pages people visit
- Where the majority of your traffic is coming from, eg social media, emails, Facebook advertising etc.
- Learn how to set up Goals inside Google Analytics to track performance of certain pages. Pages such as your lead magnets, booking pages, sales pages and so on.
The good news is that you don’t have to think too much about what metrics to read and you don’t EVEN have to remember this list I shared above.
Google Analytics displays all this on the dashboard for you to see.
Here’s an example of Google Analytics dashboard for one of our side-hustles. (This screenshot is showing one part of the dashboard)
And now, I’d like to talk to you about Bounce Rates.
You might not be familiar with Bounce rates.
According to Google, a bounce is a single page session.
A bounce occurs when a user lands on your website, has a quick look around to see if they’re at the right place.
They would’ve come from a random search result, referred by someone, typed your URL directly in the address bar, or from an online ad, etc.
And then they would’ve read your page and decided not to take any further action. After which they’d click the BACK button on their browser, or close it completely.
What you need to be aware of as a business owner is to keep your bounce rates low. (I’ll mention some exceptions to high bounce rates, too, so keep reading!)
One of the first stats you’ll see when you log into GA is the bounce rate with a percentage sign, eg 80% bounce rate.
What this means for your business:
- High bounce rates, anything over 80% would be deemed high. It could mean various things. You’re attracting wrong leads to your site, your messaging is unclear, your website design could use some tweaking, your copy needs changing, your site is slow to load and people give up and move on, and so on. There’s a few factors to take into account.
- Lower bounce rates are good. Anything between 40-70% is very good and anything below 40% is effin excellent. Low bounce rates mean your content is engaging to the visitor. And most likely you’ve got your design and messaging nailed because people ain’t leaving.
- Just a small tip…what helps lower bounce rate is having a video! If you can have it embedded on your site, then this will increase the amount of time people spend on your site, which could potentially result in more enquiries or sales.
SIDE NOTE: Some pages will always produce a high bounce rate. Pages such as Lead Magnet type pages, where there’s only one action for users to take, i.e. a visitor downloads your lead magnet and then leaves. On the other hand, Blog pages should have lower bounce rates. Anything around 60-70% is very good for blog posts. This means the content is useful to the visitor and they’re most likely reading more than one post on your site!
To learn about bounce rates across other industries please visit this website: (Custom media labs)
Are you an eCommerce business?
The following are the bounce rates you should benchmark against.
- 20% – 45% for e-commerce and retail websites
- 25% – 55% for B2B websites
- 35% – 60% for non-ecommerce content websites
- 60% – 90% for landing pages (depending on the length)
Now, don’t you feel a little bit better about reading numbers?
Ok, what about email stats?
Why should you track email campaigns?
Put simply, it will improve your email deliverability.
EMAIL ENGAGEMENT: WHAT STATS SHOULD YOU TRACK WITH EMAIL CAMPAIGNS?
Keeping your eyes on email stats is an ongoing process. This should form a part of your routine every time you send an email out.
It’s important to keep your email list clean, ie no bounced emails and low unsubscribe rates.
It’s also important to have a list of active and engaged subscribers on your list.
It’s important for Email Deliverability with your ESP – Email Service Providers.
While Email Deliverability is a big topic on its own, what you should care about for the purposes of this post is the following:
When your Email Deliverability is good, you’ll have a peace of mind that any email you send out won’t end up in subscriber’s Spam folder.
You’ll have a peace of mind that your emails will be sent to your subscribers with a high chance of them opening and reading your emails.
One way to keep your email deliverability ‘good’ is to regularly monitor your Open Rates, Click Through Rates and Unsubscribe Rates.
This is exactly what we’ll dive into below.
Email Engagement: How do you know if people are reading your emails?
Oftentimes, I get surprised when I receive a reply to one of my newsletters. (I think to myself “Oh, we’ve got a live one!”)
I get so excited! I go around the house and do a happy dance. People are reading my newsletters! Yay!
This is why knowing how to read email metrics helps.
In this part of the post, I’ll talk about the following three metrics and the reasons why they’re important.
- Open rates
- Click through rates
- Unsubscribe rates
Let’s start with…
Open rates – number of people who open your emails. (The first Email Engagement Metric to follow)
The majority of email service providers will give you access to these statistics.
When you check your open rates you should check if they’re over 20%. This is an industry benchmark. However, we found that with bigger lists – the ones with 10,000+ email subscribers the open rate might drop a bit. But it should always be above 10%.
NOTE: Lead Magnet delivery emails or Autoresponder emails should be well above 40% for open rates! Most of our clients have high open rates for their Autoresponders, some even over 70%. To learn more about what Autoresponders are, click here to read this post on Autoresponders.
What if your open rates are low? What can you do to increase your open rates?
- Play with different Subject Lines. This is the first thing you should change if the open rates start to drop.
- Send email campaigns at the most optimal time of the day. For example, send emails in the morning as opposed to in the evenings when people are having dinner and less likely to check emails!
- Try sending emails out on a specific day of the week. For instance, don’t send it on a Sunday afternoon when people are feeling lazy and watching Marvel movies all day. Send it on a Tuesday morning instead.
- Also, take our suggestions with a grain of salt.
One sure way to know the best email open times for your audience is to Split Test your campaigns.
(By the way, A/B Split Testing is another topic in itself and deserves a separate post. More on that coming soon.)
You can easily split test campaigns inside ActiveCampaign.
ActiveCampaign is the tool we love to use and highly recommend. Click here to learn more about ActiveCampaign.
(We’re an affiliate of ActiveCampaign because we’ve seen what it can do and how it can increase revenue for online businesses. We’ve been using it for years and we can’t recommend it enough!)
And now onto Click Through Rates (CTR). (The best of all email engagement metrics!)
Click Through Rates – number of people who take action in one of your emails, ie click on a link.
These rates are the ones I tend to monitor more often than the open rates. Why?
It tells me that the email content was relevant. It covered the topic people wanted to hear about and it moved people to action.
How do you make readers move to action and thus increase your CTR?
- Insert a button inside the email with a hyperlink. Make it prominent
- You can insert a simple hyperlink to a website page that’s relevant
- Insert an image with a hyperlink that has a clear Call To Action text on it, eg Buy Now text
- Have a minimum of two hyperlinks per email. Don’t riddle your emails with hyperlinks.
- Have one clear call to action per email, eg Read Our Blog, Learn More, Buy Now, etc
- Get into the habit of writing Postscript lingo with a hyperlink.
A Postscript is the ‘PS’ text you see at the end of an email that has an additional remark or includes more information about the topic you’re covering inside the email. Oftentimes, people skim-read emails and they only read Postscript text!
It’s a good practice to include a Call To Action link here.
So, what are good CTR rates to follow for your email engagement?
Here’s a simple breakdown of what we found after working across multiple industries.
- Over 5% is effin amazing.
- 3-5% is amazing.
- 1% is good.
- <1% emails need tweaking
These are the CTR numbers you should benchmark against.
For most businesses, especially e-commerce ones, the high Click Through Rate means more money in the bank. More products being purchased. More courses being sold. More webinar sign ups. More coaching calls booked and so on.
This is the reason you should strive towards improving your Click Through Rates.
And now onto the last email engagement metric – Unsubscribe Rates.
The unsubscribe rates are the total number of people who unsubscribe from your email list.
By law (in most countries!) you must display Unsubscribe link at the bottom of every email you send to your list.
You must give people the option to unsubscribe. It’s just good manners IMHO.
Unsubscribe Rates – number of people not interested in staying on your list.
It’s fine if people unsubscribe. Don’t take it personally. In fact, we should all celebrate when someone unsubscribes. Do a happy dance at home!
We don’t want to be paying for people who don’t want to be on our mailing lists, especially if they’re not reading our emails!
To them, I say: Ba-bah!
But we should worry if the unsubscribe rate goes over 1%.
This could happen if you import a list of emails of people who never opted in to hear from you. I’ve seen it happen before and in the majority of cases the Email providers will flag your account as spammy. So, always make sure you’ve got people’s permission to send them newsletters.
HOW CAN YOU REDUCE THE UNSUBSCRIBE RATE?
- Remind your subscribers how they opted in. Every now and then include a PS line at the end of an email, thanking them for their readership. And if they don’t find the content relevant anymore, tell them it’s ok to click on the Unsubscribe link.
- Create a separate landing page on your site, so that when someone clicks to Unsubscribe they’re taken to a specific landing page which gives them multiple options. For instance, do you want to unsubscribe from Marketing emails or News & Trends emails or Unsubscribe from All emails? At this point, the would-be unsubscriber might even change their mind. This might make them stay on your list.
- Send emails regularly. If you send emails every three months or so people will forget how they opted in to your list in the first place. So we recommend you send emails as often as possible. In fact, one of my mentors said you should HIRE someone to send regular emails in your business! (It’s like outsourcing social media management, right? As a business owner, you shouldn’t do everything yourself.)
This brings us to the end of the post. (I guess it’s time to bounce?)
Are you feeling a bit more excited about reading numbers now?
Are you somewhat clear on what metrics to start tracking in your business?
NOW OVER TO YOU
Our recommendation is to start monitoring your stats as early as possible.
Check for browser behaviour, pageviews, any patterns or trends that show up in Google Analytics.
Clean your email list regularly. Manually unsubscribe unengaged subscribers.
Or even better, do it the way we do it – auto-magically unsubscribe people when they don’t open emails for more than 90 days. We set this up in ActiveCampaign for our clients, so our clients don’t have to waste time manually deleting unengaged people off their lists.
Get in touch if you’d like us to set up automations inside your ActiveCampaign (or any other tool you prefer to use!)
If you need help understanding email engagement and site conversions in your business click here to book a chat with us. We can help you suss it all out in our 30-min call together 🙂
eCommerce Strategist at Bumper Leads
Milena loves helping small business owners grow their business through smart systems and automations.
Milena lives in Adelaide, Australia with her Chileno husband and her best friend Netflix. She suffers from mild email OCD, ie hates small font and cluttered newsletters. Milena is on a mission to make marketing automation simple for business owners around the world.
She loves anything to do with podcasting, eCommerce and is honoured to be supporting clients all over the world with her coaching.
You can follow Milena on Twitter (@MilenaTheGreat)